When you live in a small community like Marco Island, it’s very exciting when our non-profit, 501(c) 3, organizations are recognized by something as prestigious as the Community Foundation of Collier County!
Marco Island’s “Our Daily Bread Food Pantry” was recently awarded $13,000 from the Angel Fund Grant for Small Nonprofits of the Community Foundation of Collier County. The Community Foundation of Collier County awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. Selected organizations receive grant dollars from the Changing Needs Fund. This Fund is made up of donors who believe in the Community Foundation’s ability to identify and grant to the community’s most current needs. The hope is that this new partnership formed between the Food Pantry and the Foundation will be an ongoing relationship that will continue to grow each year!
The Program: Summer 2019 Weekend Mobile Pantry Outreaches. At the Food Pantry, volunteers collect, weigh, sort and store food. For the outreaches, bags of food are filled to the brim and loaded up along with portable coolers of fresh milk, fruits and vegetables. In collaboration with “Al’s Pals,” led by super community volunteer Allyson Richards, outreaches go weekly to the corner of N. Collier and Elkcam on Marco Island, Manatee Middle School, and various neighborhoods off the Rt. 41 Corridor. The Food Pantry also partners with the Marco Island YMCA for bi-weekly mobile outreaches to Parkside Elementary and Manatee Elementary schools. This summer program estimates serving the needs of over 5,300 low income family members.
Expectations run high in the organization and these new mobile outreach programs didn’t disappoint! According to Liz Pecora, Director of Communications, “One of the key lessons we have learned is that not everyone can come to us! As a result, mobile pantries have become a key strategic initiative for us in 2019. Our goal is to provide nourishment to the many families that may be unable to visit our Marco Island food pantry location on Saturday mornings. We hope to continue as a trusted food resource at these new locations. Together, with our community partners, we are working to wipe out hunger!”
A “thankful” word from Wanda Smith, hailing from New Jersey, who says “I come to the Pantry two Saturdays a month and it provides my family enough food for the whole month! The money I save by not buying food is used to pay our bills, especially the utilities. I am so very thankful for Our Daily Bread Food Pantry!”